Have you thought about keeping chickens in your backyard? In response to the recession this country is still recovering from, many families have considered having chickens to help with their food supply and family economics. And some families want a lifestyle that allows them to grow their own food and be self-sufficient.
If you are interested in having chickens, and you are considering buying a home, there are some questions you might want to ask yourself. First is whether your municipality allows you to have chickens on your property. Then, you need to be certain as to why you want to have chickens. How many will you need to produce the egg supply you want for your family? Can your yard accommodate the number of chickens required? And where will they live – what size coop; should you buy or build one? If you have a Homeowners Association (HOA), is keeping chickens allowed?
In the July/August issue of Edible Baja Arizona, the “Voices” section asked “Why Do You Keep Chickens?” The answers varied, from children being involved in urban agriculture, to having them as pets, to chickens as fun and entertainment, as “therapy’”chickens, and the basic answer, for eggs, a great form of low-cost protein.
Other questions might include whether you want fertilized eggs or chicks to raise, which require a rooster – will your neighbors complain of the noise? (In Tucson, roosters are not allowed.) Being a good neighbor is important in maintaining a quality neighborhood. So it would be important when looking for a home that you consider neighborhoods that might be “user friendly” to your interest in keeping those chickens. Do you want to live in the suburbs, city, or rural areas?
There are also costs involved. Even if keeping chickens is not terribly expensive, there is the cost for the coop, protections against other animals that might want a chicken for lunch (i.e., fencing), food for the chickens and clean up costs.
In December 2015 the Tucson city council approved keeping chickens on urban properties. This approval will be reviewed in two years. Hopefully those chicken keepers have had a good reputation for the care and keeping of their chickens.If you already have chickens, and you find you need to sell your home, you will need to consider how to make your home attractive to buyers. Unless a buyer wants to keep chickens some accommodation will definitely need to be made to attract the right buyer.
You can find more information about keeping chickens at these links:
Tucson Arizona Chicken Ordinance: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/tucson-arizona-chicken-ordinance
Chicken Coop Plans: http://morningchores.com/chicken-coop-plans/
Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens: https://poultrykeeper.com/general-chickens/beginners-guide-to-keeping-chickens/